S.W.O.R.D. will use the $10,000 award to purchase ATV

Rescue dive team earns G-P grant

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Contributed photo Georgia-Pacific Camas mill manager Gary Kaiser (right) presents a check for $10,000 to members of the S.W.O.R.D. team including Misty Metz, Tyler McMahon, Larry Wagoner, Tim Woodring, Doug Young, Ron Gray, Jerry Lester, Jim Virgin and Luke McCall.

The Southwest Washington Organization of Rescue Divers from Camas is the most recent local recipient of the Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grant.

S.W.O.R.D. was awarded $10,000 and was among 25 fire and rescue units across the country to receive the grant.

“Georgia-Pacific is proud to continue our support of S.W.O.R.D. with this award,” said Gary Kaiser, vice president and mill manager for the G-P consumer products facility. “It will help purchase much needed equipment to facilitate fast emergency response and keep our community safe, and it also serves as a way to show our appreciation for the dedication of these divers.”

S.W.O.R.D. is the primary provider of underwater search, rescue and recovery in the area.

“SCUBA equipment for public safety divers weighs up to 100 pounds per person, and the Bucket Brigade grant will help us purchase a much needed four-wheel drive ATV so that we can quickly transport gear to remote sites,” said Tim Woodring, S.W.O.R.D. team leader. “We enjoy a strong relationship with Georgia-Pacific, where several of our divers are employed, and we thank them for their previous generosity in donating the cart chassis that the ATV will pull.”

The Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade program is meeting critical needs particularly for fire departments in small and rural communities with a large volunteer base. Past local grant recipients have included the Camas and Washougal fire departments.

“We have tremendous respect for firefighters and rescue groups who put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of our community,” said Jim Hannan, chief executive officer and president of Georgia-Pacific. “The Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade program is dedicated to helping local fire departments with the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

Since 2006, the Bucket Brigade program has supported local fire departments in Georgia-Pacific facility communities through more than $1 million in contributions. This includes awarding cash grants, providing safety education materials for school presentations and paying for memberships for all grant applicants to the National Volunteer Fire Council.

This year, grant recipients spanned 15 states including: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Washington and Wisconsin.

Grants were awarded based on critical need to ensure firefighter safety as well as proximity to a Georgia-Pacific facility.